Go­ing global

Keep­ing chick­ens is not just pop­u­lar in Bri­tain – it is a hugely pop­u­lar hobby in many other coun­tries too. Jeremy Hob­son re­ports

Your Chickens - - Feature | Worldwide -

Did you know that there is an an­nual In­ter­na­tional Re­spect for Chick­ens Day? Held in early May each year, it shows that there is an ever-in­creas­ing in­ter­est in chick­ens in many cor­ners of the globe, with back gar­den hen­keep­ing a key el­e­ment of this. This is par­tic­u­larly the case in Europe from where many breeds orig­i­nated.

More and more Bri­tish chicken fanciers are now trav­el­ling to Euro­pean poul­try shows, with Ger­many a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion, says Chris Parker, vice-chair­man and past pres­i­dent of the Poul­try Club of Great Bri­tain. UK poul­try ex­pert and Your Chick­ens con­trib­u­tor Terry Beebe says: “The high­est con­cen­tra­tion of poul­try keep­ers/fanciers is in Hol­land and Ger­many, with phe­nom­e­nal in­ter­est in Hol­land.”

Here are some of the other coun­tries where the hobby is thriv­ing: or­gan­i­sa­tion, and about half ex­hibit their poul­try. Be­tween 80,000 and 100,000 fam­i­lies keep chick­ens as a small-scale hobby in their gar­dens, says Tanja. “An in­creas­ing num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing in apart­ments also get to­gether and keep chick­ens in their com­mu­nity. Over the last couple of years, the in­ter­est in keep­ing hens has ex­ploded and groups on Face­book con­tin­u­ally pop up, and many are join­ing each day.”

Amongst the larger breeds, the Dan­ish na­tional breed (Danske Land­høn) is there, but also the Aus­tralorp, Sus­sex, Or­p­ing­ton, Marans and Arau­cana, says Tanja. Given my love of the breed, I was de­lighted to learn that the ban­tam Wyan­dottes has a good fol­low­ing, par­tic­u­larly in the

ABOVE: Chick­ens - or their sym­bols - are all per­va­sive in across the world

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